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Editorial: Police should not give Cyber fraudsters space to operate

Though the internet has a lot of benefits, which, when exploited, can help one to improve upon his or her life, others are also using it for criminal purposes. According to a story we carried yesterday, the police have swooped on 12 suspects for their alleged involvement in cyber-related crimes, including impersonation of Members of Parliament and other high government officials within the social media space.

According to the story, the suspects usually hack into social media accounts of the MPs, ministers and government institutions and corporate bodies, and use these accounts to defraud unsuspecting victims off various sums of money by promising them jobs, scholarships, publication of fake promotional advertisements, and sale of products among others.

Though the country is currently facing a difficult economic situation, it does not mean people should adopt criminal methods such us defrauding others in order to survive. As we earlier indicated, the internet has so many benefits, but these criminals are not interested in the positive side of it. What they are interested in is using the technology to scam unsuspecting people.

The Chronicle is, therefore, happy that the police have managed to close down nine hundred and seventy-three fake social media accounts, created by the suspects in the names of prominent persons in this country.  Because of the high unemployment rate, which is not limited to Ghana alone we must admit, people easily fall for the tricks these criminals have adopted.

There is no way a Minister of State will use his/her Facebook account to tell people that he or she can offer them employment. Regrettably, because these Facebook accounts have been created in the name of these ministers, the gullible members of the public also believes in the fraudsters and are ready to succumb to their demands, in order to secure employment in the agencies they (Fraudsters) will mention.

Unfortunately, these criminals were having a field day, because no one was tracking their criminal activities. The Chronicle is, therefore, happy that the police have now focused their attention on them. It is our hope that more of such arrests will be made, to ensure that social media is used for its intended purposes, and not to scam or dupe people.

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Now, another area the police must pay special attention to is the mobile money industry. The way fraudsters are stealing from Ghanaians is very alarming. Though the telecom companies operating these mobile money businesses are doing their best to educate the public, people still fall victims to the criminals.

We believe if the fraudsters within the mobile money space are also tracked and arrested, it will limit the alarming rate monies are being illegally withdrawn from individual accounts. Since these criminals are experts in their own field, the police must always be a step ahead of them.

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